Artist of the Week: Pat Forbes, A Sun Salutation

Pat Forbes begins her mornings with a sun salutation, of sorts.

While yoginis everywhere often salute the title star through studio-transcending imagination, each morning, Forbes greets the real thing.

She lives in a home on a barrier island (specifically, Plum Island – which sounds like a peach of a place). She wakes up early to watch the sun rise out of the Atlantic Ocean.

“It is breathtaking and never the same,” she says.

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Each day, before beginning her own work, she bathes in a quiet study of nature’s celestial canvas – that morning’s masterpiece.

“I am blessed to spend my days as I like, watching the ocean and sky change moment to moment, waking early, and walking on a misty beach smelling the salty air,” says Forbes.  

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Ocean Fog

Her paintings, in a counterbalanced free flow, reflect the natural rhythm of the rising and setting sun.

Inspired by solar cycle, Forbes’ process is self-perpetuating and flourishing.

She emphasizes and enjoys the act of creating her paintings. In addition to brushes, she uses her hands and paints flat on the floor, perhaps painting’s most unmediated and natural mode. She lays paint, scratches in lines, and builds layers.

“The hardest part is stopping,” says the artist.

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Blizzard Warnings 

Forbes was precociously artistic (of her three sisters, her childhood epithet was “the artistic one”). Art is inherent in her nature.

“I see art in everything” she says, “from setting a table to picking an outfit to building a house; having beauty around me is not just a desire but a necessity, a need.”

As a young woman, Forbes was an artistically expressive hyphenate. As a single parent who filled her inherently busy calendar with cooking, quilting, homemaking, and decorating. Additionally, she owned an oriental carpet business that exposed her to an entirely new culture.

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China Trade II 

“I was surrounded by beautiful, unique, handmade Middle Eastern and Central Asian rugs, textiles and objects of daily life that used colors, techniques, and designs handed down over centuries one woman to another unique from village to village, much like quilting designs in our country,” she says.

She was able to travel throughout the world and see various deeply rooted traditions of art; she noticed how often women perpetuated these traditions.  

“These experiences gave me an awareness and deep appreciation for a woman’s impulse to make her home beautiful be it a tent, a yurt or a townhouse,” she says.


See more of Pat Forbes’ work on UGallery